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Celtic get tooled up for media battle over Ibrox tickets

Celtic appear to be fully tooled up for the propaganda war over refusing 708 tickets for the Glasgow Derby at Ibrox on September 3.

James Bisgrove had been setting the pace with his well placed network offering ‘olive branches’ to Celtic for fans to become sitting ducks for the fixture surrounded by home Season Ticket holders on every side.

At 3.29 today Andy Devlin of The Sun broke the news that Celtic had turned down tickets for Ibrox with the story quickly moving on to Bisgrove’s demand for 800 tickets to Celtic Park on December 30.

Quoting an SPFL rule The Sun report failed to highlight the word reasonable which is open to interpretation. If Bisgrove thinks that it is reasonable to offer unsafe seats it is equally reasonable for Celtic to offer less than 10 away tickets for their home fixture.

Unusually, Celtic seemed well prepared for the story being leaked to the most sympathetic of reporters. At 5.31, two hours after the initial story Michael Gannon of the Daily Record was presented with the Celtic reply:

Celtic are set to tell Rangers and the SPFL there is NO CHANCE Gers fans will be allowed into Parkhead for the December derby clash.

The Old Firm ticket wars are set to escalate after Hoops chiefs confirmed they would NOT be taking up their allocation for next month’s clash at Ibrox – with the Light Blues insisting they WILL expect briefs for the return in the East End. 

Record Sport understands Celtic refused the offer of 700 tickets as they believe promises over ramped up security were not met and they are now determined to shut out Rangers supporters in the second encounter of the season.

And the Parkhead club are also prepared to battle it out with league bosses if the SPFL get involved in the fight. League rules state home clubs must make provision for ‘a reasonable number of visiting supporters’ for matches and if clubs can’t agree the SPFL will step in. Rangers are understood to have already written to Hampden chiefs to demand their allocation – but the SPFL can’t get involved until there is confirmation of Celtic’s stance.

A very similar story with some additional detail was run by David Friel in The Sun at 6.17.

The issue has been brewing for some time with both clubs trying to present a strong face to their own supporters while being deeply tied to maintaining and promoting the detested O**F*** brand.

In March 2022 Nicholson signed Celtic up to the Sydney Super Cup where fans of the two Glasgow clubs would be sitting side by side watching a match after mingling together in the Australian city.

Bisgrove was the architect of that venture in the eyes of most Ibrox fans, after pulling out they are now obliged to appear in a number of worldwide friendlies on request from the organisers.

With just over a fortnight to go until the match at Ibrox the focus is very much on the CEO’s at both clubs, while Bisgrove provides regular interviews to friendly media outlets Nicholson has yet to even provide Celtic TV with an interview outside of his AGM requirements.

Celtic’s 2023 AGM is expected in November where it will be put to Nicholson that allowing away fans in to the December 30 fixture would be a very unpopular move after making a stance on safety issues at Ibrox.

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1 Comment

  • by Captain Swing
    Posted August 17, 2023 10:32 pm 0Likes

    Perhaps it’s time for the governing bodies of Scottish fitba’ to try, y’know, governing for a change. Making decisions and upholding sensible rules instead of just grabbing the Vaseline and assuming the supine position every time Sevco throw their toys out the pram.

    Neil Doncaster is the SPFL CEO and gets paid a salary that would fund about 12 doctors, yet you wouldn’t leave the prat alone with a box of matches, which tells you all you need to know about the level of “governance” we have.

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